BACKGROUND: Macromedia is a Web-based software development company that provides Web solutions that build sites, manage content, engage customers, personalize experiences and analyze data, with 95 percent year-over-year growth. Well-known for its Macromedia Flash and Shockwave software products, the company has one of the top 20 most-visited Web properties and is getting over 2.5 million page views per day.

PLATFORMS: Protagona from Recognition Systems supports an Oracle database and runs on NT workstations. A Protagona application server runs in a UNIX environment.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Macromedia communicates with its customers and prospects primarily via the Web, which makes it imperative for the company to develop meaningful relationships and build brand loyalty with customers. To leverage this direct relationship, Macromedia uses Protagona, which enables the company to earn profitable, repeat customers that visit the site on an ongoing basis. Protagona serves as the build, transport and delivery tool for customer communications and provides each customer a personalized e-mail message. Protagona has played an integral role delivering Macromedia's e-marketing strategy by facilitating a closed-loop e-mail system. Within Macromedia, the BroadVision and Protagona databases feed information to each other and update information. Then, Protagona creates a personalized e-mail with an embedded URL that guides the customer to a personalized Web site. When the customer clicks on the URL, created and delivered by Protagona, BroadVision decodes it and "looks up" the customer in the database to determine the appropriate communication to present. The customer's response is captured and recorded in an event history log. Macromedia can analyze results and make conclusions about customer responses.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Protagona offers the ability to identify, segment, create and deliver marketing campaigns in a comprehensive interface and application. Protagona also encompasses modeling capabilities for detailed analysis within the same environment. The encoded URL capability has been a key in our strategies to produce closed-loop marketing campaigns. This fits directly with Macromedia's vision of deploying one-to-one marketing strategies by enabling direct and personal dialog with each customer.

STRRENGTHS: Protagona has the ability to communicate with our centralized customer database and the local database housed within BroadVision. This allows Macromedia the ability to continually sync on customer data being received which is important in our environment when creating marketing strategies, campaigns and communications. We were looking for a system that could grow with us and would work with solutions that we already had in place. Protagona did that and continues to do that ­ via partner solutions and technologies ­ especially as we grow and add new requirements and enhancements. Another important strength is that Recognition Systems understands the need to be flexible in developing new solutions that will allow Macromedia the ability to respond to our rapidly changing e-marketing space.

WEAKNESSES: Recognition Systems is based in the UK, so when Macromedia is beginning its business day, they are ending theirs. This has caused some concern, as we are not always able to get the quick response we need from their technical team. Recognition Systems has greatly increased its presence in the United States, added a number of employees and is working to provide more immediate responses from their team on a 24x7 basis. Also, the report writing capabilities, at this time, are rather limited.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Because Macromedia operates almost entirely in the online world, the company was looking for a CRM provider that had a vision for Web environments and Web channels. Protagona enabled us to facilitate ongoing relationships with customers utilizing the Internet.

DELIVERABLES: As a customer, we've received active assistance with enhancements and campaign design. Other deliverables are business results ­ Protagona has decreased cycle time and increased campaign lift and cost- efficiency.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Recognition Systems is committed to finding ways to help Macromedia reach its strategic goals. We've never heard, "No, we can't do it." Instead they say, "Let's find a way." This has been critical for our success and is one
of the major reasons we selected Protagona.

DOCUMENTATION: In our case, as an early adopter of Protagona, the documentation at times lagged behind our implementation as we expanded our usage and added a number of enhancements to our system.

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